Claude Prouvé’s recently demolished Experimental Building of SIRH

Prior to destruction © Nicolas Waltefaugle Photographe

Mid-March brought the destruction of an important 1970s building that symbolized the experimental nature of industrialized housing that became popular after World War II as an effort to meet the economic demands of reconstruction. Known as the “experimental building of SIRH”, the eight storey abandoned structure was created by sixty prefabricated modules that served as a prototype for the SIRH Process – a construction process that experimented with the idea of prefabricating flexible standard living cells that could be easily assembled on site in a unlimited amount of configurations to provide for affordable individual or collective dwellings. This process was designed by French architect – son of the illustrious French architect, designer and metal worker , who is widely known for successfully and beautifully transferring manufacturing technology from industry to architecture.

The experimental building of SIRH, along with many other 1960s and 1970s structures, remains largely under-explored. Due to a spontaneous mobilization of architects, students and researchers in January 2012, the SIRH building has been documented and photographed in detail before it was demolished in March. Starting Thursday, June 7th, the Maison de l’architecture Lorraine will be hosting a fascinating exhibition that will display this documentation and explore the innovative process and prototypes of Claude Prouvé.

Continue reading after the break to learn more!

Aesthetic Fillup: Gas Stations

© www.flickr.com / Brandon Baunach

The design of gas stations is mostly stripped down to that required for bare function. The inextricable relationship of the aesthetics of modernism to that of the automobile begs a different approach, one that fulfills the traditional function of a gas station but also reflects shifting movements within design. Just like the cars that have driven up to utilize them, these gas stations represent design principles contemporary to the time in which they were constructed.

‘Jean Prouvé Architecture’, at the Galerie Patrick Seguin

Demontable house 6x6m, 1944 / 7th Venice Biennial of architecture Italy, 2000 / Courtesy

For the first time in public, the Galerie Patrick Seguin will present live, every day, the set up of a 6×6 meter demountable bungalow, created for the war victims in Lorraine.

Indeed, a team composed of 3 persons will take care of the set up of this reference of demountable architecture on the booth on a daily basis – from 11am to 7pm – unveiling each day the absolute modernity of this project. At night, a second team will be in charge of the taking down and crating of each of the elements composing the house (portal frame and ridge beam, exterior joint covers, facade panels, metal floor structure…)

For the nocturne on Thursday 16 June the gallery will organize the set up, dismantling, and crating all in one day. More information and images after the break.